Attorney General Bill Barr. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Almost 2,000 former Justice Department officials have signed onto a statement condemning the DOJ's decision to drop charges against former national security adviser Michael Flynn and calling on Attorney General Bill Barr to resign for "repeated assaults on the rule of law."
Why it matters: There has been intense backlash by Democrats and many career prosecutors over Barr's interventions in criminal cases against President Trump's allies. Barr denied doing "the president's bidding" in an interview with CBS News last week, arguing that "partisan feelings are so strong that people have lost any sense of justice."
The big picture: The group reiterated its previous call on Barr to resign after he intervened in the case of Roger Stone, claiming that he has again used the DOJ as "a tool to further President Trump's personal and political interests." But the officials conceded there is little chance Barr will do so, and they asked Congress to censure him.
Details: The group said it supports the decision of the career prosecutors who withdrew from the Stone and Flynn cases after Barr intervened, commending them for "upholding the oath that we all took."
- It also asked the judge overseeing the Flynn case to reject the government's motion to throw out the charges.
- The group said the DOJ's reasoning "does not hold up to scrutiny, given the ample evidence that the investigation was well-founded and — more importantly — the fact that Flynn admitted under oath and in open court that he told material lies to the FBI in violation of longstanding federal law."
What they're saying:
"The Department’s action is extraordinarily rare, if not unprecedented. If any of us, or anyone reading this statement who is not a friend of the President, were to lie to federal investigators in the course of a properly predicated counterintelligence investigation, and admit we did so under oath, we would be prosecuted for it."
"Attorney General Barr's repeated actions to use the Department as a tool to further President Trump’s personal and political interests have undermined any claim to the deference that courts usually apply to the Department’s decisions about whether or not to prosecute a case."